When a doctor needs to see how the heart is working, an echocardiogram is often ordered. This common and low-risk test uses sound waves to generate images of the heart. These are then used by a physician to determine if you have heart disease.
Having Heart Problems? It’s Time To Get an Echocardiogram
If your doctor suspects that your heart might not be working as well as it should be, an echocardiogram will likely be ordered. Depending on what your doctor suspects is the issue, you may undergo one or more different types of echocardiograms. These include transthoracic, transesophageal, stress and/or Doppler echocardiograms.
Your physician might also order an echocardiogram for other reasons in addition to diagnosing heart problems. It can be used as a tool to monitor any improvements or changes during treatments and help determine if additional testing is needed. An echocardiogram can also help guide your doctor when they are considering the next steps in your treatment plan.
These are some heart problems an echocardiogram can diagnose
If your doctor recommends that you get an echocardiogram, it’s probably to check for issues such as:
- to diagnosis if your chest pain or shortness of breath is caused by a heart problem
- find congenital heart conditions before a baby is born. This is known as a fetal echocardiogram.
- detect any issues with the heart’s chambers and/or valves
How to know if you’re having heart troubles
With heart disease being one of the most common causes of death in the United States, it’s important to be aware of the myriad of symptoms that could indicate that this vital organ is having trouble. Below is a list of issues that you shouldn’t ignore if you experience them:
- chest discomfort
- stomach pain
- jaw or throat pain
- pain that spreads to your arm
- easily exhausted
- irregular heartbeat
- persistent cough
- swollen feet, ankles and/or legs
What is the cost of an echocardiogram?
The cost of an echocardiogram can vary widely. For those patients who do not have health insurance, the charge can range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more.
Patients who are covered under a health insurance plan can expect their out-of-pocket expenses for an echocardiogram to range from 10 to 50 percent — depending on copays and other factors. In order to get the most accurate cost for an echocardiogram, it’s best to consult with your provider directly.
Get Treatment at Premier Heart & Vein Care
At Premier Heart & Vein Care, located in San Luis, California, Dr. Ken Stevens and his dedicated staff take a holistic and comprehensive approach to healthcare and medicine. A minimally-invasive procedure that provides your doctor with a wealth of information, an echocardiogram produces invaluable three-dimensional images of your heart. Contact our office today and learn more about how we can partner with you to provide you with the best quality of life possible.